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BPO, DPO, APO (Before, During, After Post Office)

Every day, the thought of writing something to you stiches my mind like an unseen yellowjacket catching me on the arm when I least expect it. The sting hurts. After a minute or so, the affected area swells—just like a real yellowjacket attack–and becomes a preoccupation. I wander along, slipping letters, magazines, and catalogues into mailboxes. Like an ancient insect’s ovipositor, my satchel opens to deposit packages on porches and stoops. Every delivery exacerbates the condition. Preoccupation becomes obsession.

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Picking through the weeds

In October, there was the Euro trip. It was two weeks of comfort after a wild ten months here in the Dobson house. I had surgery for a ripped-up rotator cuff at the end of January. Then, I spent four months at home. It was the first time in our 25-year history that we spent most of the day, every day with each other. Worries about my future with work and in life haunted me. During all these challenges, I was somehow saved from myself. Europe shined as something like a dream after all that.

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Marlies and arriving home again

The day after the night in Trier, Virginia and I packed up our things and rolled them across the street to the bus stop. Stefan and Magrit had bid us farewell before we were off to bed, so their good feelings and wishes went with us. We only had to wait a few minutes. The rain came down in a pitter. The tiny Ruwer River flowed brashly under the bridge. Except for the sounds of aerial and terrestrial water, all in Eitelsbach was quiet.

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Night in Trier

Leaving friends always makes me think that this will be the last time I’ll see them. Whether with coffee cups drained with a pal on an afternoon or when visiting friends far away, I get the sense that time is getting short. I may never see them again, whether they live far or near. There’s a sweet melancholy in the thought. We have lived. We are now at ages that do not guarantee another morning. But we have had each other and have been luckier than we know at that.

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